Benet baseball wins Regional Championship in walkoff fashion against St. Francis

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After inclement weather on Friday, Benet baseball and St. Francis meet up on a beautiful Saturday in a 3A regional final matchup. Earlier this month, the Redwings defeated the Spartans 2-1. Benet is seeking their first regional championship since 2021. This highlight is sponsored by BMO.

St. Francis and Benet baseball exchange runs in the first inning

In the top of the first, we have Gino Zagorac on the mound for Benet facing Dylan Ston of St. Francis with a runner on third. He lifts one out to shallow left field, but it’s enough for Zachary Maduzia to tag up and score from third base.  The Spartans cross home plate first, it’s 1-0 early on.

In the bottom half of the inning, the Spartans’ Andrew Mueller is pitching to Joe Coffey with a runner on second base. Coffey slices it down the right-field line. That will bring around Marc Iozzo from second base. It’s tied up after one inning.

Maduzia scores again but Joe Coffey responds for the Redwings

Fast-forward to the third inning, Ian Bagaconza is at the plate with a couple of runners aboard. He hits a fly ball to right field and Charlie Kane snags it, but that allows Maduzia to tag and score from third. The Spartans now have a 3-1 lead with the Redwings coming to the plate.

Coffey is up again with a couple of Redwings on. He rips this pitch to the gap and that in both Kane and Pat Pitello. Coffey’s RBI double ties the game up at three.

Armbust gives St. Francis the lead before Benet answers the call once more

The Spartans are back at the dish. Colt Armbrust sends this ball right between short and third and that will be enough for James McGrath to slide across home plate. St. Francis reclaims the lead, 4-3 in the fourth.

Now in the top of the sixth, the Spartans have a runner on with McGrath up to bat. He hits a slow chopper up the middle, where Ryan Cibulka scoops it up, steps on second base, and throws the runner out at first for the double play. It’s still 4-3 St. Francis.

Next up is Armbrust at the plate with two strikes. Filippo gets him to swing through this pitch for the third strike and he is pumped up. The Redwings are up to bat down just one run.

Runner on second in the bottom half of the inning, and Charlie Kane is up at the plate facing Brogan Wallace. He takes this pitch into the gap in left-center field, allowing Luke Wildes to score the tying run. Redwings have a runner on with one out.

Marc Iozzo is up with Peter Solloway on the mound. Iozzo gets a hold of this one as he sends it to deep left-center.  That will bring Cibulka and Jeremy DeWilkins around to score as Iozzo cruises into second. It’s now a 6-4 ballgame heading into the final inning.

No quit from St. Francis as the Spartans tie it up late

Lucas Lawler is in to close the show for Benet. He’s got Maduzia at the plate with two strikes he sends him down looking. The Redwings are just one out away from a regional championship.

After a pair of two-out singles, the Spartans have some life. Joey Gainer hits this ball right back up the middle and that will be enough for Ston to score from second base. St. Francis has the tying run on third with two outs.

Luc Swiatek is that plate with no outs to spare. He sends this pitch down the left-field line and that will bring Logan Swaney across to tie the game up at 6. After a groundout, the Redwings will come to the plate with a chance for a walk-off.

Luke Wildes has a full count. He displays some good discipline as this pitch just misses the mark. He walks to first and the bases are loaded.

Benet baseball wins thanks to Charlie Kane’s walk-off

Charlie Kane is up at the plate with a chance to end the game. He slashes a line drive up the middle and that will do the job, Josh Gugora steps on home plate and this one is all over. The Redwings win a wild game in walk-off fashion as they storm the field to celebrate.  They’ll play Burlington Central in the Sectional Semifinals on Wednesday evening

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!